Dahlia garden - mostly in the last few weeks

digit(ID/WA)September 23, 2012

I snapped a half dozen pictures of the dahlias thru the growing season. So, I was inspired to put a few of them together. The youtube slideshow is linked below.

The earliest photograph has the "weeds" and Asian greens a week or more before the dahlias began to show up. Many of those greens were harvested & the remainder went to the compost. We then move quickly to the growing dahlias and the first blooms. The final 3 pictures are all from the last few weeks.

Right now, the garden is entering the peak of the dahlia season. Fortunately, the mid-September frost here just damaged a few of the tallest flowers and even they recovered. The garden is very protected by buildings, bushes and a dilapidated board fence that the neighbor's mastiff is determined to knock over!

Many flowers have come out of this dahlia cutting garden. There are more to come but when cold weather arrives, even without a frost, the plants will sloooooow and the blooming season will come to an end.

Yes, nearly half the plants are one variety: Show 'n' Tell. They are very popular and grow very well here. Still, I think that more of some of the others should be saved or, more tubers purchased for 2013. I believe that I once figured out that there are about 30 varieties (and a little too much has gone to Show 'n' Tell ;o).

The pictures are of the entire garden, or as much as I can include in the shot. I don't have any close-ups this season but may be able to do that in the next few days.

The music is by composer Maurice Ravel, Ma m`ere l'oye (Mother Goose). He originally wrote it for his 2 young children to play on the piano as a duet.

Steve

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlia Garden, 2012

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david52 Zone 6

Very nice, Steve.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:23PM
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digit(ID/WA)

Thanks, David!

Linked are some dahlia closeups.

I am sorry the audio starts like that and have no idea why it does! I am not very talented with YouTube.

The pictures are from today. Once it starts, the music is Debussy's Maid with the Flaxen Hair with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman:

( Steve :o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Dahlias, late September

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:05PM
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mla2ofus

Very pretty. That's a large dalia bed.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 10:00AM
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margaretmontana(4-5MT)

I resisted dahlias for many years as I didn't want to store them. I have a friend who has over 300 and is a dahlia judge and she gave me one for Mother's Day -Kari's Fruit Salad - strange name for a pretty flower. She said she would give me something Fire Dancer next year as same type of petal but different color. I hadn't realized until I helped her with her booth selling dahlias how many different sizes, colors and petal shapes there were. Easier to dig than potatoes.

Today I cut the tops of a bunch of glad bulbs. I grew a few last year and some more this year as my hubby really likes them. I haven't grown any for maybe 20 years. We had such terrible thrip problems with them. No thrips so far - maybe they just haven't found us yet. Like not having any flea beetles for a long time and now I can't get rid of them.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:40PM
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digit(ID/WA)

Margaret, we will pray that the spider mites don't find your dahlias. . .

They are something of a bane to my existence!

Spider mites can be killed with a soap spray but I think you can almost kill more of them with a hose and just water. Combining the 2 once a week, is a good approach. As long as it is hot and dry, and the mites have found the dahlias . . . oh boy. It just goes on & on.

I really don't find digging & storing them all that difficult. The bed is very nearly prepared for the next year's plants - something I'd need to do anyway, maybe just waiting for spring.

When I just had a few plants, I would just plunk the whole entire thing in a box of leaves and carry it downstairs. That's a little heavy . . . The soil is washed off now. I know, I'm not supposed to do that but they then sit in a garage for a little while to dry and getting the soil off allows me to find the old tuber & damaged new ones - and take them off. Then they are dropped in dry peat moss (not always easy to find) and downstairs they go. Much lighter!

I've had to shop around for dry peat some years. I've also had to split open the bale and spread it out on a tarp to dry in the sun. Didn't appreciate that nor the enormous weight of a wet bale of peat! Shopping around is easier.

Pine shavings seem to work as well but I'm left with trying to decide what to do with those come spring. I'm very comfortable treating peat moss as a compostable. I'm sure it doesn't degrade further but there's little possible harm to the garden.

Peat is mined. I'm not comfortable with that but I'm not burning it. It does not go out of existence in my gardens, that fairly easy to see and appreciate its value. Hopefully, the watershed that once built the peat won't be going away and it will be rebuilt. There is also coconut coir. There was a question about salt content but I'm way over my head in knowing anything about minerals and root storage.

Steve

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 10:13AM
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